How the Chicago Cubs Made History in Their Game 3 Win
Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Cardinals was supposed to be about the great Jake Arrieta and his total and complete inability to give up runs of any kind. Instead, we got something totally different.
It's what makes postseason baseball kinda rad.
Arrieta didn't have the good stuff against the Cardinals on Monday night, lasting just 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits with nine strikeouts and two walks. At the end of the day, he left with the lead and earned the win, but not in the way everyone predicted. It was the first time he had given up at least two runs in a start since August 15, and it was the first time he'd allowed a run at Wrigley Field since July 25.
That start on July 25 was also the last time Arrieta lost a game. Against the Philadelphia Phillies. In Cole Hamels' final game with Philadelphia. Where he pitched a no-hitter.
But that's not what made Game 3 one for the history books. Chicago blasted six home runs as a team, the most in postseason history.
Six different players hit those home runs: Kyle Schwarber, Starlin Castro, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler and Dexter Fowler. And according to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time in Cubs history (that's more than 20,000 games played) that the two through six hitters in the lineup each hit a homer in the same game.
When the wind is blowing out at Wrigley, some fun things can happen. The Phillies once won a game against the Cubs 23-22 in 10 innings with the wind blowing straight out back in 1979. The situation wasn't that crazy in Game 3, but the wind was whistling out to right field at a pretty good clip, helping push more than a couple of the dingers over the fence.
Five teams prior to the 2015 Cubs hit five home runs in a single playoff game: the 1928 Yankees, 1984 Cubs, 1989 A's, 2004 Cardinals and 2005 White Sox. And with St. Louis' two homers in Game 3 (Jason Heyward and Stephen Piscotty), eight different players all went deep, the first time that's ever happened in a postseason game.
Jorge Soler (Game 2), Kyle Schwarber, and Kris Bryant (today) are the youngest set of 3 teammates ever to hit HR in the same postseason
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 13, 2015
Those young Chicago hitters appear to be getting more comfortable with postseason baseball. After going 0-for-21 in Chicago's first three playoff games this year (including the Wild Card Game win over Pittsburgh), Bryant and Rizzo both went yard and combined to go 3-for-9 with the 2 homers and 3 RBI. And Soler is off to an incredible start to his postseason career.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 13, 2015
That'll help the ol' on-base percentage.
Of course, while this display of power has never been seen on the October stage before, it is far from the all-time record for team homers in a game, held by the 1987 Blue Jays, who hit 10 in a game against the Baltimore Orioles. The National League record is nine, set by the Reds against the Phillies in 1999.
Still, six is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it helps cover a less-than-stellar Jake Arrieta and gets you to within one win of your first NLCS appearance since 2003.